We are used to it now. One moment the lights are on, the fan is working, the TV talk show hosts are talking our ears off; the very next moment, total darkness. No electricity means no light, no fan, no TV.
There are parts of the world where such an occurrence would spark panic. What happened!? Why are the lights out!? But not here. Not us. You see, we are the resilient type of nation. We are not bothered by petty things such as ‘load shedding.’ In one brief moment, we simultaneously curse the powers that be and break out the hand held fan. We bathe in the moon-like rays of the emergency light, congratulating ourselves for our foresight. After all, a power shutdown is nothing a trusty UPS can’t fix! Somewhere in the distance, a generator comes to life, breaking the silence with its monotone, reminding us that while a UPS is nice, a generator is nicer still.
This whole routine is a testament to our collective failure as a nation. Electricity became a necessity of life a hundred years ago, yet it is still a luxury for us. We have the resources to generate enough power for our needs, but we have a lack of foresight, leadership and will to make it happen.
The need for ‘load shedding’ has crippled the nation’s economy. Whole industries have been wiped out. Countless jobs have been lost. Repeated power interruptions and fluctuations mean that no electrical equipment or appliance is safe for long. While that is great news for electricians and the people who make voltage stabalizers, the overall economic impact has been devastating.
Our electricity shortfall grows with every passing day, and just recently we were told to expect ‘load shedding’ for at least the next several years. It is a sad fact that while our neighbors get ready to leap into the future, we are still struggling just to keep the lights on. There are no generators nice enough to overcome this bitter reality.